Organizing Work

Time Management Tips

Do you feel like there are not enough hours in your day? Learn tips and tools to achieve a better life balance.

Definition

  • The ability to use one’s time effectively or productively
  • Time management is the way you organize and plan how long you spend on specific activities

Why is it important to manage time

  • Time is our most valuable asset
  • It gives time to do the things we really want
  • It helps reduce stress and anxiety
  • Gives a sense of accomplishment
  • Gives a sense of control

How do you fill your jar?

Everyone has limited time in a day. Imagine your time in a day as a jar. You have the following to fill it up with:

  • Stones: Big goals
  • Marbles: Job/work
  • Sand: Distractions

Now ask yourself: How do I fill up my jar?

Do you fill it up with sand and not leave enough room for most important big goals of your life?

This concept was first laid down by Stephen R. Covey.

How I manage my 24 Hours

On my Snapchat and Insta-stories, one question that I have repeatedly been receiving from my followers is how I manage it all in my 24 hours.

Here’s how: I divide my 24 hours into categories in my head. Following is an example of my typical weekday:

ActivitiesIncludingTime
WorkBusiness, projects, correspondence, blog8 hours
Spiritual5 Namaz, reading Quran, meditation30 mins
SportsTennis, Table Tennis, walk1.5 hours
ChoresCleaning, garbage, organizing, cooking1:45 mins
Me timePainting, books, journals30 mins
TV timeMovies, sitcoms, dramas1.5 hours
Husband timeSecret 😉1 hour
Family timeVideo chat, audio notes, phone calls1 hour
SleepMy dream world8 hours
SocializingAudio msg/call to friends15 mins
Total24 Hours

Many of these can interlink during my days:

  • TV time can be husband time if we’re watching something fun together.
  • Family time and chores can be done together when I’m skyping with my mom while folding the laundry.
  • TV time can be while organizing a drawer.
  • While working on less strenuous projects, I watch dramas in the background.

In such cases, I’ll save more time during my days.

The glorification of busy

“Sorry I was too busy to reply to your message.”

We hear that a lot. We say that a lot. (We were too busy to take 30 seconds out of our 24 hours to reply to a question/invitation/query which you were waiting for).

I said I’ve been too busy too. A lot! Until I realized it is really not about being busy! It is about taking out time for things/people that are important to us.

Technology has changed the scales now. It literally takes less than 15 seconds to send a thoughtful voice/text/video message to our loved ones… or those who matter to us. We can’t say we’re busy anymore.

So rather than saying I’m too busy, we might as well say: ‘Replying to you wasn’t a priority for me’ or ‘You’re not that important to me to waste my time on you’ or ‘I am unable to manage priorities or time in my life’.

Especially those who neglect their parents, grandparents, siblings, childhood friends, or those who have been there for them. They make excuses that they’re working and too busy. As if the whole world is farikh and they’re the only ones who run on a schedule.

The hard reality is…. No one in this world is free. Everyone is busy or has a packed schedule. So remember you’re not the only one working! And secondly, if someone means anything to us, it is our responsibility to sort out our lives and take out time for them. Don’t say you’re busy to those who left all their commitments for you. Never be busy for those who were there for you in your hard times.

Let’s get out of this BUSY MENTALITY and start prioritizing our lives and our relationships better.

Strategies for managing time

Set Goals & Priorities

  • Set your goals with specific actions
  • Make goals that will make you feel important and confident
  • Knowing your goals will help you plan better and focus on the things that need to be done.
  • Prioritizing helps you be proactive
  • When we don’t set and prioritize goals, we waste time in confusion and conflicting priorities.
  • Setting priorities for activities can give us a sense of control.

Scheduling

  • Have a master calendar & schedule early in the day as that’s the most productive time. Be aware of your most productive time of day
  • User Timers/Alarms/Reminders
  • Book appointments for important tasks
  • Make To-Do lists with deadlines
  • Break up activities over time
  • Delegate to others, ask for help
  • Ask yourself: Am I taking on too much? Delegate work
  • Manage interruptions
  • It is a great idea to plan your next day before signing out
  • Write down your most important tasks for the next day
  • 15-minute day planner is a great way to divide your work hours with slots which you can fill out to manage it most efficiently

Organization

  • Keep things in their place
  • Reduce clutter
  • Make and use and organization system that works for you

Apps to use for time management

  • Calendar App (Google, Hotmail Calendar)
  • Note & List Making App with automatic online backup (MobisleNotes)
  • Cell Phone Camera (for recording important details like location, prices, lists etc. )
  • Use Google Home or iPhone Siri to set up reminders & timers or ask next days weather forecasts to save time of doing research yourself.
  • Organize your phones widgets on main screen to show you important apps & contacts you need everyday to save time looking for them.

Challenges of Time Management

  • Procrastination
  • Lack of focus or goals
  • Lack of prioritizing
  • Multi-tasking in the moment
  • Taking on too much
  • Not taking a break
  • Distractions & Interuptions

Related Article

I would like to share my recent related article and video below:

Conclusion

I hope you learned something today.

  • How do your manage your time?
  • What are the challenges you face when you are prioritizing?
  • Does scheduling work for you?

References

This post was inspired by a workshop I attended at CHT

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